Weekly Feature



2015-05-27 / Lifestyles

Experience nature from sunrise to sunset

Reinstein Woods
by ANNA WALTERS
Reporter


Members from Meetup.com take a fitness walk at Reinstein Woods, located at 93 Honorine Drive, Depew. According to center director Meaghan Boice-Green, the gravel roads allow easy walking. 
Photo by Jim Smerecak. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Members from Meetup.com take a fitness walk at Reinstein Woods, located at 93 Honorine Drive, Depew. According to center director Meaghan Boice-Green, the gravel roads allow easy walking. Photo by Jim Smerecak. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com When the pink lily pads are blooming at Reinstein Woods, it resembles a Monet painting, said Meaghan Boice-Green.

The 292-acre nature preserve comprising wetlands, ponds and mature forest is located at 93 Honorine Drive in Depew. The preserve offers nature walks and programs for visitors of all ages.

“Reinstein Woods is close to an urban area but makes you feel like you are miles away from civilization,” said Boice-Green, center director of Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center. “Its complex of wetlands and forests offers the chance to view a variety of wildlife, from water fowl to woodpeckers and white-tailed deer.” Boice-Green added that the fall foliage is impressive, such as brilliant red maples, yellow birch trees and golden brown beech trees.

“Every visit is a new adventure, as you never know what nature might greet you with in the woods.”

Boice-Green noted that many species of birds migrate through the woods, and sightings have included a Cooper’s hawk nest and great horned owl.


A great egret was a rare sighting last summer. The bird was seen visiting Reinstein Woods’ lily pond. A great egret was a rare sighting last summer. The bird was seen visiting Reinstein Woods’ lily pond.

She said there was recently a bald eagle in the woods, and visitors can hear the sounds of frogs, particularly at night, throughout the summer.

According to Boice-Green, Dr. Victor Reinstein first purchased the land for a private nature sanctuary in the early 1930s. He planted trees and constructed marshes with the help of others. In 1986, the state Department of Environmental Conservation gained ownership of the property through a donation from the Reinstein estate.

According to Friends of Reinstein Woods, the property was open to the public on a limited basis until 2001. The DEC then started to expand its educational and volunteer programs.

“DEC developed a management plan with public input in 2006, and that outlines how the property will be managed,” Boice-Green said. “We will continue to manage the woods with the help of our volunteers and our nonprofit partner, Friends of Reinstein Woods.

“They have been instrumental in maintaining the trails and combating invasive species on the property.”

Boice-Green said the education center opened in 2007 and has helped increase the ability to provide services to schools, Scouts, teachers and the general public.

“The education center was designed in a way that considers the building’s entire lifespan, from construction through long-term use,” she said. “Every space in the building is designed to reduce energy consumption.”

A trained volunteer leads a free guided tour at 10 a.m. Saturdays at Reinstein Woods.

Boice-Green said the length of the walk is approximately 90 minutes. There is no registration required, and walks take place rain, snow or shine.

“There is a growing body of evidence that getting outside provides both physical and mental benefits to children and adults,” she said. “A walk in the woods lowers blood pressure and can increase your focus, which has benefits in all areas of life.”

Along with the guided tour, the woods holds walks on seasonal topics and evening programs such as a Full “Strawberry Moon” Walk, which is set for June 2.

“The beech tree trail is an especially peaceful place to walk. It is farther back in the woods, and along the way you pass the largest forest-grown American beech in New York State.”

A barbecue will be taking place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the woods.

“The upcoming Buffalo’s Backyard Wilderness BBQ would be a great opportunity for visitors to experience the best of Reinstein Woods,” Boice-Green said.

The event will feature nature walks, live music by Doug Yeomans’ Bluegrass Trio, a basket auction and more.

Presale tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and younger. There is no charge for children ages 2 and younger. At the door, tickets will cost $30 for adults.

Reinstein Woods is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

For more information about Reinstein Woods, call 683-5959 or visit www.dec.ny.gov.

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